Ice Cream, Baking Ingredients Continue Growth Seen During Pandemic

CHICAGO, February 23, 2021 — Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has launched a Sweet Treat Tracker to monitor omnichannel sales trends across categories typically viewed as indulgences, including candy, bakery sweet goods, baking chips and mixes, frozen desserts, ice cream, packaged cookies and snack cakes.

The Sweet Treat Tracker reports an index of year-over-year category sales for the past 13 months, monthly sales indices for top treat categories year-over-year and treat sales by channel, covering purchases in Online, Food, Mass, Dollar, Club, Gas & Convenience, and Drug stores.

Sweet treat category sales index shows:

  • All sweet treat categories evaluated were up versus prior year in 2020, consistent with increased at-home consumption, stockpiling behaviors, and pandemic stressors.
  • All categories show continued growth in January 2021 vs. year ago, despite a month typically known for healthy start-of-year intentions.
  • Ice cream saw significant growth (+20%) in 2020 vs 2019; with a reduced growth rate in January 2021 (+13%), and frozen desserts now outpacing ice cream at a 21% 2021 YTD growth vs. year ago.
  • Sweet baking supplies saw the greatest growth in 2020 (+24%), with sustained growth in 2021 (+23%), as the pandemic continues to drive new consumers to baking and cooking.

Sales Growth Index for Tracked Sweet Treat Categories

Candy Baking Chips & Mixes Bakery Sweet Goods Packaged Cookies Snack Cakes Ice Cream Frozen Desserts
Annual Sales

2020 vs. 2019

103 124 100 111 110 120 110
YTD Sales

2021 vs. 2020

107 123 103 108 112 113 121

Sweet Treat Sales by Channel:

  • Online sales of sweet treats doubled (+104%) in 2020 vs 2019, with more consumers opting for safer shopping methods like delivery and curbside pickup.
  • Early 2021 online sweet treat sales are on track for even more significant growth (+120%).
  • Food, Mass, Dollar, and Club all showed sweet treat sales growth in 2020, with Mass and Club both seeing increased growth in 2021 (Mass +13%, Club +12%)
  • Sweet treat sales in Gas & Convenience and Drug stores show declines for both 2020 and 2021.
  • Across all channels, sweet treat sales grew by approximately 8% in 2020

Sweet Treat Sales Growth Index by Channel

All Channels Online Food Mass Dollar Club Gas & Convenience Drug
Annual Sales 2020 vs. 2019 108 204 112 107 107 102 93 93
YTD Sales 2021 vs. 2020 109 220 107 113 102 112 82 89


The Numerator Sweet Treat Tracker is updated bi-weekly with YTD omnichannel sales data. Note that the online tracker and totals include another favorite treat: wine and the Liquor channel.

About Numerator
Numerator is a data and tech company bringing speed and scale to market research. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has more than 2,000 employees worldwide. The company blends proprietary data with advanced technology to create unique insights for the market research industry that has been slow to change. The majority of Fortune 100 companies are Numerator clients.

Read this release on PR Newswire.


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